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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pantry Challenge WEEK! Nearly FREE Meal Plan! 11-24-30,2014

Getting caught up on some bills this week along with the MRI for my son, 2 Thanksgiving Dinners, plus a family wedding out of state BUSY!! Not sure how I will squeeze in the grocery store for perishables and ingredients I will need to make the side dishes & desserts to both dinners.

Luckily I scored at the grocery store a while ago and stocked up on a variety of baked goods (TRY FREE!), seasoning mixes (try .10 each!! Yep! nearly FREE!) as well as Cod and boneless skinless chicken breast. So We will be eating out of our food storage mostly this week, that is the dry goods & freezer. I am nearly depleted of meat, so what I save this week I am going to have to save for next week. 

Taco Cups from our Lunch Time Offerings!

HOPEFULLY we will have some turkey left overs to sustain us next week! Hoping for the carcass so I can make turkey and barley soup, turkey pot pie, and possibly turkey hash with all the rest of the goodies!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cheap, Quick, & Easy Family Friendly Meal Plan: 11-16-14

Let the Craziness BEGIN!! So the holidays are a coming, in case the "Christmas Creep" displays in mid October didn't scream that to you even before the leaves had a chance to turn color let alone FALL for crying outloud! 

What are you planning on making for Thanksgiving? Do you stay tried and true or do you like to live vicariously through TV Chefs and make gourmet FOODIE type fare?

 NOT To prove my total dorkiness, but I have a notebook from way back circa Thanksgiving 1997 that not only has a meal plan, but a recipe list, grocery list, time table, and notes!! I still refer back to that time table and chore list so I can keep on time. I have scaled back as that was before children and I could crank out 5 side dishes, 6 pies, and made every single item from scratch. 


This week is my calm before the storm, I plan on making some holiday cookies, but mainly eating as healthy as possible so when I have my 3 Thanksgivings in a row I won't gain too much!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cheap, Easy, Frugal and Simple Appetizers and Dessert Plan

Need a simple yet "Foodie" type appetizer& Dessert menu AND on a tight budget? too! 

This menu was created on the fly this past weekend during a ladies retreat. We had a team builder where as a team we had to plan, shop, and create an appetizer and dessert for $40 or under.

While our team didn't stay on budget($2.50 over) nor did we win the competition...we did make an amazing trio of tempting tapenades that fed 15 people and we still had left overs!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cheap, Quick, & Easy Budget Friendly Family Meals for 4 under $150/week!!!! Edition: 11-9-14

$150/week for a family of 4 PWEEEEHHH!!! That is a tall order these days!! 

I have compiled a List of my BEST tips we use all the time to help us stay on budget and save $$ during this tough economy... Click here to read my TOP 10 LIST!

 Stay Tuned for MORE delicious Recipes on a DIME!! I will post the recipes my girlfriends and I made for a weekend retreat battle of the apps and dessert...we made a topenade trio consisting of Gluten-free Chicken Tacos, Gyro Sliders, Chicken Bruchetta on toasted Baguettes, and Peanut Butter Reece's Cup Ice Cream Pie...ALL FOR $42.50!! 

Now on to the Menu!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

In Tha Muthahood...LOVE this!! You gotta check this out!!

So very funny!! My sister posted this on my FB profile and I thought I MUST post this..NJOY!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Top Ten Money Saving Tips to Keep Meals tight and on BUDGET!

When I first got married our weekly grocery 

budget was...wait for it...

you best sit down!! 

$25/week!! YIKES!! Totally TRUE! 


Awww... How cute were we? Circa 1994


We made about $850/month GROSS between the both of us!! NO lie. 

Easy and QUICK Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup from Scratch!!

Crisp Fall Evenings...

Pic Credit

Just seem to call for Soup!

Velvety- Rich and Creamy Tomato Soup

What do you do when you are out of tomato soup? 

Why make it from scratch Of COURSE!!! Not only will be it cheaper and healthier- it will be tastier too!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cheap and East Budget Friendly Meal Plan: 10-6-12, 2014

I am SO excited!!!  

This week I decided to become an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails!! This is a vinyl nail wrap company featuring 300+ designs of the most fashionable and gorgeous designs, french manicures and if that isn't enough customers can create customizable wraps using Jamberry Nails' Nail Art Studio!! 

One of my favorite Jam'icures using: PuppyLove,MadMod, Wh MiniPolka& StormySeas
Another ex: Autism Awareness w/White Clear Chevron








LOVE this french w/Skyline JN Wraps!!


 If you would like to order directly from me or host a FB party click here!

To order a sample (FREE SHIPPING) please inbox me your address and I will send you a free accent nail to try before you buy!!:

Ok, now on to the menu plan!! This week with so much activity  launching my Independent Jamberry Nails Consultant party and getting the word out about my newest venture plus taking care of my Social Media Marketing Business, homeschooling, Co-Op, AHG, AWANA, my Bi-monthly facial treatments, teacher's conference, bible study, soccer lesson, and Fall Festival trip on Sat...I NEED something QUICK & SIMPLE this week!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Budget Friendly Easy & Quick Family Meals: Sept 29-Oct. 5, 2014

Phweeee! We just had one of the busiest weeks yet! 

Most days we had 3 events in 

3 different cities on the SAME day!!

Thankfully this week is decidedly slower with only 4 events spread out over the entire week. Our budget has gotten tighter so we really needed to buckle down on the fast food hard when you are all the state and you have kids to feed lunch and snacks. Not only does it get costly it is void of any REAL nutrition, so I had a ton on prep work on grocery day that paid off!

Here are some tips on road trip lunch & snacks*
  • Good eating starts with GOOD PLANNING! Plan your snacks and all other meals so you have good tasty options PLUS you won't go back to the store and spend extra $ on things you inevitably will purchase along with those snacks for the kids.
  • Look at the prepackaged snacks for inspiration! They have some nifty ideas that you can duplicate at home for nickles on the dollar!
  • As soon as you get home from grocery store scrub, clean, dice, peel, slice, & package produce for a quick "grab & go" snack
  • Designate a "lunch/Snack Grab & Go" area in your fridge and pantry. I remove all dry snack items from boxes and place in a bin in the pantry to save space and allow easy viewing of supplies. Maybe it's only my house, but it never fails if I leave snacks in the boxes, I will think we are fine on snacks bc of ALL those boxes still in the pantry...HA!  Empty boxes...Ergo, all snacks are REMOVED from boxes, neatly arranged in their bins & boxes are PROMPTLY placed in recycling bins.
  • Freeze drink boxes, they will help keep food cold until lunch time and will thawed but icy cold in a few hours! BE sure to wrap in strong paper(cloth would be best) napkin. This has double duty: #1- will hold in moisture from thawing juice box and prevent soggy sandwiches & #2- you will be have a nice moist towel to wipe that jelly off your fingertips and face!
*More on this on a future post-will link here once posted! 

Breakfast Choices:
cold oatmeal cereal, Pancakes, Toast w/Jelly, Smoothies, Fresh Fuit, Cold Whole grain Cereal, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Bacon and eggs of choice.

Lunch Options:
  • Left Over zucchini patties & carrots with dippings, 
  • pizza-dillas w/ applesauce & chopped salad
  • Fish-cakes on whole grain w homemade tarter sauce and dilled potatoes with grilled asparagus, 
  • Cheese, Crackers, Veggies munchies w/dip and fresh fruit, Chopped Veggie Salad w/chilled fruit cup
  • PBJ on toasted rounds with veggie chips and fresh fruit
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup
  • Grilled Veggies, hummus, Felafels on homemade pitas, and fresh fruit

Supper Selections:

Meatless Monday:
Zucchini Patties w/Tahini Sauce, Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf
Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Beef Stroganoff over Noodles w/Mixed Greens Salad

Crunchy Coated Chicken w/Tomato & Basil Cream Sauce over Pasta, Mixed Greens Salad, Fresh Fruit Cup 

Kielbasa Sausage Links w/Romanian Cabbage, Mac & Cheese and Jello Cup

Fish Tacos w/Honey-Cumin Cilantro Slaw & Chipotle Mayo
Fish Friday:
Fish-Tacos w/Honey-Cumin-Cilantro Slaw and Chipotle Mayo on Homemade Puffy Tacos (Seriously? YUMMY!)

Homemade Pizza & Calazones w/homemade Pizza Sauce, Fresh Salad Green w/Balsamic Vinegar, Grilled Nilla Banana Pudding Boats.

Crock Pot Carribbean Jerked Chicken, Artichoke Hearts w/Herbed Couscous, & Chilled Fresh Fruit. 

Snacks Offerings:
Salted Caramel Greek, Vanilla or Peach Yogurts, Cottage Cheese, String Cheese, Puddings, Jellos, Chunk Cheese, Grapes, bananas, Peaches, Apples, Cucumber Spears, Carrots, Broccoli florets, Cauliflower, whole grain crackers, Dip, popcorn, applesauce, juice boxes, water, Hard boiled eggs, peanut butter crackers, dried fruit, & granola bars.

Linked to Menu Mondays!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Budget Friendly Easy & Quick Family Meals: Sept 22-28,2014

My daughter and husband are going camping with her American Heritage Girls Troop this weekend, they will have a great time and it will also mean mommy and son time too! 

The menu will reflect those 2 not eating dinner on Friday but a small meal with my son and a side dish for the "Cracker Barrel" style meal they will be eating. Saturday's plans are equally exciting as we are going to a "SIT-IN" movie theater at my bestie's house, so simple side dish and dessert to share there too! 

I am looking forward to all this FUN this weekend!! Funny as I am typing the menu I see a pattern... LOL!! Someone is CRAVING Mediterranean food!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kitchen Sink Frittata...The EASY way!!

Nearly every Sunday evening we have this for dinner, I do a plan a meal for Sunday, but we typically eat that meal when we get home from church famished!! By 5:30 we are all ready for a light bite!

 I will take a peak in the produce drawer of my fridge and see what is left or the "Smoothie" bin in my freezer. Typically I will use whatever is on hand and ready to go bad since I do my grocery shopping on Mondays- it's "use it now or pitch it!"  

Pic Credit

In my 20's before I was married, I had a roommate whose parents were straight from Sicily and the food...oh the FOOD, I was introduced to!! Delicious treats such as Frittatas that I am featuring today. Her technique is fussy & I never could master it, so when I have found the technique I am showing much simpler without sacrificing taste I was excited!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Menu Mondays: March 17-23, 2014- Weekend Potlck Recipes~ Sandwiches for DINNER!!

I love searching "WEEKEND POTLUCK" for INSPIRATION from ALL of the delicious recipes that other bloggers submit to this awesome linky party for my weekly menus! 

I will often contribute my own recipes & have gotten to dialog a bit with a few of the 5 Hostesses, whom oversees this linky party, & they are very nice ladies!! 



 How it works: The recipe with the most "clicks" will be featured the following week, on each of the 5 hostesses' blogs, plus what recipe caught the 5-H's attention collectively, then each individual hostess will mention their personal favorite entry recipe...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Knock OFF Shamro## Shakes

I know everyone and thier mother has a recipe...this one really tastes just like the real thing to my family!!

Now you don't have to wait all year for March come so you can savor the minty sensation of a Shamro## Shake...

You have the power to make it whenever you are feeling a little Irish!!

Making Iced Tea SMACK! DAB! in the middle of winter!!

I am soooooooooooooooooo 

OVER this winter!!!

... And that says a lot, because I love winter, the snow looks like diamonds, the air is crisp and clean PLUS~ I know freezing temps will KILL BUGS & SPIDERS!!! 

Well at least keep them from getting to a mutant-steroid size like you guys or y'all get down south!!


Nonetheless, I am in the mood for REAL Iced Tea, I have been "fudging" it with instant Peach Iced Tea packets, but they are only an imitation not worthy of the freshly made counterpart!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Menu Mondays: Feb 24- March 2, 2014- Healthy Eating!

What a week! My whole family seems to be in such horrible moods, couldn't be because the winter has been so long, cold and bitter!  

 At least the sun has been out for the most part these last few days, that never fails to place a smile on my face!!

In that vein, like it or not, we are going to eat healthier!! I think when you get the proper nutrition your body just responds and your mood lightens. Not being bogged down with artificial flavors, dyes, or sweeteners is a step in the right direction too. 

Eventually the Family's attitude
will improve 
because of eating better...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls...

Just the mention of it and I get all nostalgic and stuff remembering my wedding day and the BEST cabbage rolls I ever ate!! 
I never did get the recipe from the caterer,but I did find this recipe and tweaked it a bit,and it tastes just like I remember!

Pic Credit
  • 1 Cabbage Head
  • 1 Lb uncooked 80% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 C uncooked rice
  • 16 Oz Tomato Puree
  • 1 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 T Brown Sugar
  • 2 t Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Menu Mondays: February 17- 24, 2014

This week I received my menu inspiration from the

Taste of Home website.  

Before my days of using the Internet & Food Network for cooking influence- I would save each TOH magazine and insert with recipe index side up in a sheet protector w/my favorite recipes highlighted and then place 2 years worth of issues into a 3-Ring binder. 

Yeah, I have always been a geek that way, LOL! That is also how I would plan my freezer cooking sessions and basically how I learned to cook and keep a house before we got cable TV and my beloved Internet. 

In honor of TOH magazine & the great reading material plus motivation this magazine provides, I dedicate my menu week~

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monday Menu: Jan 27-Feb 2


Understatement of the YEAR!!! 

We are buried in snow in Northeast Ohio, I don't remember a winter with so much snow and freezing temps like this since my childhood in the 80's.

Thankfully my big guy doesn't have 
a problem with soup for dinner because this winter we 
have nearly OD'd on soups, and it's only the 26 of January!  
We COULD still have about 7-8 weeks on winter left

And this week we are predicted to have negative temps ....
so it is looking like hearty and rich soups will 
be on our menu again this week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Freezer Falafels

I am soo in love with...

the Garbanzo Bean!!!

Pic Credit
And I can't believe I am posting about these beans with any kind of affection at all!! Because for 6 years I would sneer at these beans with malcontent while I worked the buffet at a family restaurant during my school years. I would TOTALLY freak out if any bean "juice" would splash on my hands!! Ahhh

These poor beans did nothing wrong~
they just visually appalled me, 
as I thought they looked like dirty little baby bums 
and I never gave them a chance...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Menu Plans for Jan 19-25, 2014

Back on the wagon AGAIN, sheesh! Life is so much easier when the meal planning is taken care of, it one less thing I have to figure out. 

I decided I would stick with some all time winter Favorites and sprinkle in 
some summer classics! We have such cabin fever  this year and it's still JANUARY!!

13 Bean Soup 'HOOD Style...

I have NEVER been a fan of beans, EVER! 

I would sit at the table~ ALL night if I had to so I could avoid any gastric involvement with any bean...UNTIL necessity came along, a tight budget, and 3 HUGE appetites, so necessity became the Mother(HOOD) of invention!!

This is such an awesome SOUP, I will never be a fan of the YUCKY lima bean, sorry nope not ever, so I picked out every last yucky bean I could see other than that I used the bean mixture as is and added some of my taste sensations. 

Results...a party in mouth and a tasty little treat I would like to call "Yum!"